THE release in late May by the Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor of the Federal Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap discussion paper is an important step to achieving a lower carbon economy.

Welcoming the release of the discussion paper, APPEA chief executive Andrew McConville agreed that the path to a lower carbon future must include investing in energy technology at home and abroad.

“The discussion paper clearly identifies the need for a system-wide appreciation of our energy requirements and that there are different roads we can take to get there,” Mr McConville said.

“At a time when the economy is under significant pressure from the challenges associated with COVID-19, investing in cleaner energy technologies makes sense, from an emissions perspective and to strengthen our economy.”

Mr McConville said that importantly, the discussion paper recognises the powerful role that Australia’s modern, technology-driven natural gas industry can play in lowering Australia’s emissions and those of our trading partners.

“Australia’s natural gas industry is a high-technology industry, and the discussion paper recognises the important role that the industry will continue to deliver for Australia and for the world. Emerging technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage, hydrogen, and the increasing role renewables continue to play are all significantly underpinned by natural gas in our energy mix today,” Mr McConville said.

APPEA pointed out that the Paper also recognises the role of Australia’s LNG exports are continuing to play in reducing the emissions profile of our trading partners.

Mr McConville said that as the world’s largest exporter of LNG, Australia will continue to capitalise on this important low emissions export opportunity. Some of our key trading partners, including Japan and South Korea, have indicated that LNG will play an important role in decarbonising their electricity systems. LNG represents a continuing export opportunity for Australia.

“Reducing global emissions is a global effort, and as an energy exporter Australia is doing its part through many channels. Our LNG exports can substitute gas for more emissions-intensive fuels and have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 163 million tonnes in our trading partners,” said Mr McConville.

Mr McConville said the oil and gas industry looked forward to further engagement through the discussion paper process to elaborate on how the natural gas industry can continue to support innovative solutions as we move to a cleaner energy future.

Santos says paper highlights gas’ importance

Leading gas producer Santos said the release of the Technology Investment Roadmap discussion paper recognises the crucial role that natural gas and carbon capture and storage (CCS) will play in creating jobs as Australia rebounds from COVID-19 and strives for a lower carbon economy.

The company’s managing director and CEO, Kevin Gallagher, said the discussion paper builds on the international recognition that gas is the natural partner for renewables in a lower carbon future.

“We need gas to be competitively-priced for power generation and manufacturing, and the best way to put downward pressure on prices is to invest in more supply and more competition.  That investment will only happen in an open, transparent market environment,” Mr Gallagher said.

“The roadmap highlights that emissions reduction and job-creating resource development go hand-in-hand.

“Australia needs low-cost, large-scale abatement to maintain our position as a leading energy exporter and manufacturer of energy-intensive materials such as steel and cement, as well as to enable new industries such as hydrogen.

“The discussion paper highlights the role of carbon capture and storage. Developing projects such as Santos’ Moomba CCS proposal will provide the fastest route to a hydrogen-fuelled economy, decarbonising energy at its source.

“CCS is good for jobs, it’s good for Australian investment and it’s good for emissions reduction – securing the future of existing industries such as oil and gas, chemicals, cement and steel, and enabling new industries such as hydrogen.

“As the International Energy Agency states, CCS is an essential part of the energy mix if the world is to meet its climate aspirations.”

Mr Gallagher said Santos would work with the Government and industry partners as the roadmap is developed.

“We have welcomed the Government’s consultation so far and look forward to continuing to work with them to create more jobs as the role of natural gas and CCS becomes more important than ever as we move towards a lower carbon economy.”